Thursday, May 17, 2007

Move over Bollywood...

We've had a wonderful break at Noosa that included visiting family and friends down south. A wonderful big family get-together for Mother's Day was gorgeous!!

Listened to an audio tape of the book ‘The Shifting Fog’ by Kate Morton on the drive home and thoroughly enjoyed it. Kate, a young Brisbane woman, earned over $1 million advance on this, her debut novel, and I can understand why it was so well received. It goes on sale in the UK as ‘The House at Riverton’ in July 2007. I hope it does really well. I’m sure many British readers will never guess that the author is a Queenslander.

On the last leg of our journey home we called in at Bowen, because I was very keen to see if we could catch a glimpse of the set of the movie ‘Australia’ that Baz Luhrmann is making there.

Over the past six weeks, the seaside end of Bowen’s main street has been transformed to depict Darwin in 1938. They’ve created an entire township – including a picture theatre, jail, pub...

Recreated 1938 hotel -- The Northern Territory Hotel

There's also a police station, a brothel, Chinatown and stockyards. 750 head of cattle have been penned there as well!

More of the set. There were calls in local newspapers for authentic 1930s cars.

I wasn’t sure what we’d be allowed to see, but we were quite pleased (Ok – make that incredibly excited) that we were allowed to get reasonably close to the set. A local told me a brief outline of the story, which runs on the delicious theme of The Lady and the Larrikin).

In 1938, Lady Sarah, (Nicole Kidman) comes out from England to Darwin on a flying boat to join her husband on his newly acquired Outback cattle property. A ringer from the station (Hugh Jackman – sigh!!) is supposed to greet her, but he’s in the pub brawling and they meet when he arrives through the pub window in a shower of broken glass.

Not impressed, Lady Sarah makes her own way to the property, only to discover that her husband is dead, which she apparently doesn’t mind, because he was quite a womaniser. Then cattle barons threaten to take over her property and she decides to take the cattle 1,500 kilometres to Darwin, to sell them at the sale yards. Of course, Hugh Jackman accompanies her on this hazardous journey and during that time the fall in love!

As you can guess, this is exactly my kind of story!!! In fact, I wish I had written it!

A local building is covered in signage in keeping with the movie

The story continues into WW2, and the 1942 bombing of Darwin takes place as well. Actually, all the sets you see here, including the pub, will be bombed! That’s happening in about 4 weeks and I’d love to be around when that happens!!

We weren’t lucky enough to see Nicole and Hugh while we were there, but apparently they regularly stroll through the town and speak to locals.

This elevated metal sheet provides shade for the actors

Actors (extras??) getting ready for their scene.

And of course, in North Queensland, Bowen has been re-christened Bowenwood!

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